Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Final Debate: No Contest

That was easy. Almost too easy.

Obama won last night's debate without breaking a sweat, it wasn't close. And speaking of sweat, Romney looked as if he had run a marathon through Death Valley just prior to the debate. We haven't seen flop sweat like that in a debate since Nixon faced Kennedy in 1960. Yikes. However, it's understandable when you consider the extent to which Romney was in over his head, with every answer either empty rhetoric hoping to at least sound meaningful or positions that more or less aligned with Obama's existing policy. It was painful to watch.

I can't decide on my favorite moment. It's as if Obama was restraining himself, holding back from being even more snarky or sardonic than he was at times, realizing the hapless challenger was up against the ropes and it was all but over in the first round. The "fewer horses and bayonets" line was priceless, making Romney look as naive and infantile as Ryan often did versus Biden. I also applauded when Obama explained to Romney how a trip to Israel should go (no donors, etc.), another decimating moment.

But perhaps my favorite zing is when Obama recited point for point how Romney has waffled, how he has been a flip-flopper when it comes to foreign policy. Romney is now for diplomatic pressure (sanctions) on Iran whereas before he was against it, he was against a timetable for an Afghanistan exit but is now for it, he wanted to end the war in Iraq but now wants to leave 20K troops, he felt going after Gaddafi was "mission creep" and with regards to Osama Bin Laden, Romney believed "it was not worth moving Heaven and Earth" to get him and if anything we should ask Pakistan for permission (!). It was a breath-taking moment and clearly crystallized just how ill-prepared Romney was for this debate, and is for President.

Which gets back to my opening comment about Obama's win last night being too easy. Indict Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Tighten the already-effective Iran sanctions -- really?? Romney said things that made no sense, none whatsoever. The fact that this presidential race still appears to be tight and the challenger is saying such idiotic, clueless statements about world affairs -- it's quite concerning, to say the least.

Another area of grave concern that was a blown opportunity, one that Obama should've pounded and reiterated numerous times: how Romney = GW/Cheney. Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team is basically a family reunion of ex-Bush/Cheney personnel, with 15 of 22 members being former policy advisers under the Bush administration. We're talking a neocon PNAC photo album.

It's all the more reason Romney's overly dove-ish, peacenik posture last night was a complete farce. We're to believe Romney has gone all soft on us, wishing peace on Earth and for all mankind...? Right. More like a calculated gambit to win over women, once again insulting their intelligence with a transparent grab for their vote.

Despite Obama's snap-back in winning the final two debates, the question is: will it be enough? Did he squander a growing lead, one that put his Intrade odds close to 80% before plunging after his abysmal first-debate performance, settling at the current 59% probability of winning?

We'll see. It's been reported that the last two debates did not garner nearly the TV audience of the first one and if Obama were to (gulp) lose the election, it would forever change the importance of that first debate. Never again would an incumbent show up and just mail it in or play it too safe, as if the election was his or her's to lose. It will be, and should always have been, knives out from the get go and take no prisoners.

Here's hoping if Obama wins, it will be knives out for four years.

1 comment:

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